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·         H & N cancers   Head & Neck cancers. Cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and tongue, nose and sinuses, lips, thyroid and parathyroid glands and salivary glands.

·         HCFA   Healthcare Finance Administration (Medicare). This agency became the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

·         HCG  Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. A germ cell tumor marker found in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood.

·         head and neck cancer   Cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and tongue, nose and sinuses, lips, thyroid, parathyroid glands and salivary glands. Abbreviated H & N.

·         helper T cells   A subset of T cells that usually carry the T4 marker and are essential for turning on antibody production, activating cytotoxic T cells, and initiating many other immune responses.

·         hemangioblastoma   [he man´ jee o blas toe´ ma]   This benign, tumor-like mass arises from blood vessels and is often cystic. It represents about 2% of all primary brain tumors. Lindau disease or von Hippel-Lindau disease is an inherited condition which predisposes to this tumor and kidney cancer.

·         hemangioma   [he man´ jee o´ ma]   A congenital abnormality, it is a mass of overgrown blood vessels that resembles a tumor.

·         hemangiopericytoma   [he man´ jee o pear ih sigh toe´ ma]   This is a rare, grade II or grade III tumor, different from the meningioma although arising from the same cells. It is attached to the dura mater (the outermost layer of the meninges) and does not usually invade the brain itself.

·         hematogenous   [hem´ ah toj´ en us]   Originating in the blood or spread through the bloodstream.

·         hematopoiesis   [he´ ma toe poy ee´ sis]   The formation and development of blood cells. Also called hemopoiesis.

·         hematoporphyrin derivative   [he ma toe pour´ fih rin]   A drug used in photodynamic radiation therapy (PDT) that is absorbed by tumor cells and, when exposed to light, becomes active and kills those cells.

·         hemianopsia   [hem ee an op´ see ah]   Loss of one half of the field of vision (the area that can be seen by each eye when staring straight ahead).

·         hemiparesis   [hem ee pah ree’ sis]   Muscle weakness on one side of the body.

·         hemiplegia   [hem ee plee´ je ah]   Complete paralysis of one side of the body.

·         hereditary   [heh red´ ih tair ee]   Transferred via genes from parent to child. Also called genetic.

·         hereditary mutation   [heh red´ ih tair ee • mew tay´ shun]   A change in the genes of a germ cell (egg or sperm) that is incorporated into the DNA of every cell in the body of the offspring. These mutations are passed on from parents to children.

·         herniation   [her nee a´ shun]   Tissue bulging through an opening in a membrane, muscle or bone.

·         heterogeneous   [het er o gee´ nee us]   Composed of varied cell types.

·         HHS Department of Health & Human Services, a Department of the Federal Government under which falls all of the individual institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Abbreviated DHHS.

·         high-dose chemotherapy   Massive doses of chemotherapy are administered, then an antidote is given which reverses, or “mops up,” the excess drug.

·         high-risk   Someone who is more likely than others to be diagnosed with a particular disease or the recurrence of their disease.

·         high-throughput   Fast, automated analysis of a variety of substances, including chemicals and genes.

·         HIPAA   Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996   This act clarified and modified elements of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA). Among other provisions, HIPAA eliminates health insurance discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, incorporating instead a waiting period of 12 to 18 months. It assures confidentiality of patient information.

·         histology   [hiss tol´ o ji]   Microscopic anatomy. Cell characteristics observed under the microscope.

·         HMO   Health Maintenance Organization. A type of managed care health insurance that specifies the group of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers who will provide your healthcare. You must get your care from providers that are part of the plan.

·         homogeneous   [ho mo gee´ nee us]   Composed of identical cell types.

·         hormone   A substance produced by a gland and released into the bloodstream. Hormones affect the function of distant organs in the body. The pituitary is sometimes called the “master gland” because of the wide variety of hormones it produces and secretes.

·         hormone therapy   Treatment by removing, blocking or adding hormones. Also called endocrine therapy.

·         hospice   A concept of care that provides medical, psychological and spiritual support to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. It stresses quality of life, including pain and symptom control so the patient can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice is available to persons who can no longer benefit from curative treatment. Hospice is provided in a variety of settings, including the home, hospice centers, hospital and skilled nursing facilities.

·         HRQL   Health Related Quality of Life.

·         human chorionic gonadotropin   (HCG) A germ cell tumor marker found in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood.

·         human genome project   [je’ nome]   A massive undertaking, largely sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), to map the complete set of genes on all the chromosomes found in the human body.

·         humoral immunity   Immune protection provided by substances such as antibodies which circulate in the blood and lymph fluid. (Long ago, body fluids were called humors.) Humoral immunity is distinct from the direct action of immune cells, which is called cellular immunity.

·         HX, Hx   History. That part of a healthcare professional’s record that details your current and past illnesses, your family’s illnesses, your symptoms, detailing the circumstances that brought you to the attention of a physician.

·         hydrocephalus   [hi dro sef´ ah lus]   Hydro = water, cephalo = head. Excess water in the brain due to blockage, increased production, or decreased absorption of cerebrospinal fluid.

·         hyperfractionated radiation therapy   More fractions of smaller-than-usual daily doses without a change in overall treatment duration. Used to deliver a larger total dosage. Radiation therapy delivered two to three times a day.

·         hyperfractionation   [hi per frak shun a´ shun]   An increased number of smaller dosage treatments of radiation therapy.

·         hyperthermia   [hi per ther´ me ah]   The use of heat to kill tumor cells. Heat therapy.

·         hypoglossal nerve   [hi po glos´ al]   12th cranial nerve, controlling movements of the toungue.

·         hypophysis   [hi pof´ ih sis]   Another name for the pituitary gland.

·         hypothalamus   [hy po thal´ ah muss]   The region of the brain that forms part of the wall of the third ventricle and is the base of the optic chiasm. In partnership with the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus is part of the endocrine system. It controls body temperature, hunger and thirst.

·         hypotonic, hypotonicity   [hi po ton´ ik • hi po toe nis´ ih tee]   Diminished muscle tone; limp muscles.

·         hypoxia   [hi pocks´ ee ah]   Lack of oxygen.